Parsnip, Bacon & Pear Scones
I just realised that this is the second consecutive recipe featuring parsnips – OK, so I’m having a thing with those sweet rooty delights right now, it’s my body’s way of telling me not to be fooled into thinking it’s summer (it certainly wasn’t today)!!
It was the Oxford / Cambridge boat race yesterday, which goes right past my sister’s house. She lives about 6 foot from  the river and it has become a tradition to stagger out onto the tow path, champagne in hand, to see those toned young men with rippling muscles row their way past us to victory…or not! The BBC is really trying to up the profile of this event I guess. Before the race yesterday they really went to town with snazzy shots of each crew member, standing in a sultry pose with tousled hair, looking like a rock star - displaying stats like weight, age, circumference of left bicep, number of shags…..I mean, really!? It’s a boat race!! Still, it gave me an excuse to try out a savoury scone recipe that has been festering in my sub -conscious! (That’s more than enough excitement for me these days!!). And because we had a nut allergy in the house – I had to find a sub for my usual almond flour – which although possibly less strictly ‘paleo’ than almonds flour, was far superior in taste and texture. These scones were VERY well received.

 
INGREDIENTS
1 extra large (or 2 regular) organic parsnips – cut into battons
1 pear – quartered into similar sizes
1-2 tbsps butter / bacon fat - melted
1 small bunch thyme
75g bacon, snipped into small pieces
Pinch of salt
2 cups tapioca flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
120g grated parmesan + a tbsp. for topping
75g butter – room temp
2 pastured eggs

Pre-heat oven to 180*c and line a large baking sheet with greased foil (or use a silicone sheet)
Mix parsnips, pear and thyme leaves with melted butter and a pinch of salt. Spread out on the baking sheet. 
Roast in the oven for 15 mins. Sprinkle the snipped bacon over the top and roast for another 15-20 mins. Leave to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, stir dry ingredients together (including cheese)
Chop butter into small chunks and tip into bowl. Using your fingers, rub lightly into flour mixture until properly combined and resembling bread crumbs.
Blast parsnip mixture in a food processor for 30 secs or so, until it forms a paste.
In a small bowl, break eggs & beat. Add parsnip paste and combine well.
Stir into crumbed mixture until well mixed. (try not to over stir)
Using two spoons, form mixture into meatball sized rounds – I got 10 out of mine, but they did grow and could well have been smaller.
Leave some space on the baking tray to allow for spreadage.
Bake scones for 15 mins – remove and sprinkle extra parmesan over the top of each and return to the oven for another 5 mins.
NB if your scones are much smaller – maybe reduce cooking time by 5 mins
These were mostly eaten as is – but I envisaged them split and spread with lashings of butter. I defy you to tell me they’re not even better that way!!

Best served warm or at least on the day of baking.

Parsnip, Bacon & Pear Scones

I just realised that this is the second consecutive recipe featuring parsnips – OK, so I’m having a thing with those sweet rooty delights right now, it’s my body’s way of telling me not to be fooled into thinking it’s summer (it certainly wasn’t today)!!

It was the Oxford / Cambridge boat race yesterday, which goes right past my sister’s house. She lives about 6 foot from  the river and it has become a tradition to stagger out onto the tow path, champagne in hand, to see those toned young men with rippling muscles row their way past us to victory…or not! The BBC is really trying to up the profile of this event I guess. Before the race yesterday they really went to town with snazzy shots of each crew member, standing in a sultry pose with tousled hair, looking like a rock star - displaying stats like weight, age, circumference of left bicep, number of shags…..I mean, really!? It’s a boat race!! Still, it gave me an excuse to try out a savoury scone recipe that has been festering in my sub -conscious! (That’s more than enough excitement for me these days!!). And because we had a nut allergy in the house – I had to find a sub for my usual almond flour – which although possibly less strictly ‘paleo’ than almonds flour, was far superior in taste and texture. These scones were VERY well received.

 

INGREDIENTS

1 extra large (or 2 regular) organic parsnips – cut into battons

1 pear – quartered into similar sizes

1-2 tbsps butter / bacon fat - melted

1 small bunch thyme

75g bacon, snipped into small pieces

Pinch of salt

2 cups tapioca flour

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

120g grated parmesan + a tbsp. for topping

75g butter – room temp

2 pastured eggs

Pre-heat oven to 180*c and line a large baking sheet with greased foil (or use a silicone sheet)

Mix parsnips, pear and thyme leaves with melted butter and a pinch of salt. Spread out on the baking sheet. 

Roast in the oven for 15 mins. Sprinkle the snipped bacon over the top and roast for another 15-20 mins. Leave to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, stir dry ingredients together (including cheese)

Chop butter into small chunks and tip into bowl. Using your fingers, rub lightly into flour mixture until properly combined and resembling bread crumbs.

Blast parsnip mixture in a food processor for 30 secs or so, until it forms a paste.

In a small bowl, break eggs & beat. Add parsnip paste and combine well.

Stir into crumbed mixture until well mixed. (try not to over stir)

Using two spoons, form mixture into meatball sized rounds – I got 10 out of mine, but they did grow and could well have been smaller.

Leave some space on the baking tray to allow for spreadage.

Bake scones for 15 mins – remove and sprinkle extra parmesan over the top of each and return to the oven for another 5 mins.

NB if your scones are much smaller – maybe reduce cooking time by 5 mins

These were mostly eaten as is – but I envisaged them split and spread with lashings of butter. I defy you to tell me they’re not even better that way!!

Best served warm or at least on the day of baking.

Parsnip, Honey & Cinamon Cake with Ruby Orange Icing



 
Wow, I haven’t make a cake for ages – and have frankly weaned myself off cravings for sweet things for the most part (apart from chocolate of course!) It just goes to show how addictive sugar is – refined or otherwise!
We had friends coming for lunch this past weekend – paleo friends, so it is all about the food! We say it’s not and love to get together to see each other, but we are all big foodies…. so it just has to be right! Anyway, this cake went down a storm, so I think it was! It is, I have to confess, a tweaked and enhanced version of an Abel & Cole recipe that came with my delivery last week. I’m a huge fan of vegetable cakes, so this really piqued my interest.

INGREDIENTS
CAKE
300g grated organic parsnips
1 lemon, zest and juice
100g ground almonds
150g ground pecans
100g coconut palm sugar
¼ tsp pink Himalayan salt
1 tbsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp powdered ginger
3/4 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
100ml raw honey, melted into 50ml hot water
75g coconut oil
3 eggs
3 egg whites

Grease and line bottom of 2 x 9” cake tins
Pre-heat oven to 180*c
Mix parsnip, lemon zest & juice in a small bowl
In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients, breaking up any lumps and ensuring everything is well combined.
In a pyrex jug, measure and mix the honey water and coconut oil. Crack in the eggs and beat mixture with a fork.
Add parsnips to dry ingredients, stir to combine and then pour in the egg mixture.
In yet another bowl (sorry, this recipe is a bit utensil heavy!) beat the egg whites with an electric hand beater.
Fold them gently into the batter, trying to incorporate lumps, but still keeping it light and fluffy.
Divide between the 2 cake tins and put into the pre-heated oven for 25 mins. Test the centre with a skewer.   
Allow to cool for 10 before turning out onto a wire rack. Carefully peel off the grease proof paper and allow to cool completely.

ICING
2 cans organic coconut milk – refrigerated overnight
1 can coconut cream – refrigerated overnight
¼ cup apple puree
¼ cup melted coconut oil
3 tbsps maple syrup
1 tbsp coconut sugar
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp apple cider vinegar
¼ tsp cinamon
Pinch sea salt
Zest of 1 (blush) orange
Pulp from 1 squeezed orange
2 tbsps fresh orange juice

This was a little bit of trial and error- to be sweet enough and orangey enough without being too runny! But this ratio worked just fine for me, especially once the cake had been refrigerated.
Make sure your tins of coconut have been refrigerated long enough. You want the hard white cream at the top only (use the water for a smoothie another time!)
Place all of the ingredients in a large jug and using an immersion bender, whizz away.
Taste to make sure it is sweet enough for your liking, (but err on the side of caution – we don’t want those blood sugar levels going through the roof!)
NB I used ruby oranges which are lovely and sweet, juicy and have a very distinct flavour – it made a lovely icing.
Then you just need to assemble your cake. The quantity of icing allows for a generous middle layer of icing (don’t you just hate cakes where the filling icing is too skimpy!?) and a good spreading over the top.
I used my grain free granola to decorate the top, but you could use coconut, berries, fresh grated cinnamon….you get the picture!

Parsnip, Honey & Cinamon Cake with Ruby Orange Icing

 

Wow, I haven’t make a cake for ages – and have frankly weaned myself off cravings for sweet things for the most part (apart from chocolate of course!) It just goes to show how addictive sugar is – refined or otherwise!

We had friends coming for lunch this past weekend – paleo friends, so it is all about the food! We say it’s not and love to get together to see each other, but we are all big foodies…. so it just has to be right! Anyway, this cake went down a storm, so I think it was! It is, I have to confess, a tweaked and enhanced version of an Abel & Cole recipe that came with my delivery last week. I’m a huge fan of vegetable cakes, so this really piqued my interest.

INGREDIENTS

CAKE

300g grated organic parsnips

1 lemon, zest and juice

100g ground almonds

150g ground pecans

100g coconut palm sugar

¼ tsp pink Himalayan salt

1 tbsp cinnamon powder

1 tsp powdered ginger

3/4 tbsp baking powder

½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

100ml raw honey, melted into 50ml hot water

75g coconut oil

3 eggs

3 egg whites

Grease and line bottom of 2 x 9” cake tins

Pre-heat oven to 180*c

Mix parsnip, lemon zest & juice in a small bowl

In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients, breaking up any lumps and ensuring everything is well combined.

In a pyrex jug, measure and mix the honey water and coconut oil. Crack in the eggs and beat mixture with a fork.

Add parsnips to dry ingredients, stir to combine and then pour in the egg mixture.

In yet another bowl (sorry, this recipe is a bit utensil heavy!) beat the egg whites with an electric hand beater.

Fold them gently into the batter, trying to incorporate lumps, but still keeping it light and fluffy.

Divide between the 2 cake tins and put into the pre-heated oven for 25 mins. Test the centre with a skewer.  

Allow to cool for 10 before turning out onto a wire rack. Carefully peel off the grease proof paper and allow to cool completely.

ICING

2 cans organic coconut milk – refrigerated overnight

1 can coconut cream – refrigerated overnight

¼ cup apple puree

¼ cup melted coconut oil

3 tbsps maple syrup

1 tbsp coconut sugar

1 tsp vanilla

½ tsp apple cider vinegar

¼ tsp cinamon

Pinch sea salt

Zest of 1 (blush) orange

Pulp from 1 squeezed orange

2 tbsps fresh orange juice

This was a little bit of trial and error- to be sweet enough and orangey enough without being too runny! But this ratio worked just fine for me, especially once the cake had been refrigerated.

Make sure your tins of coconut have been refrigerated long enough. You want the hard white cream at the top only (use the water for a smoothie another time!)

Place all of the ingredients in a large jug and using an immersion bender, whizz away.

Taste to make sure it is sweet enough for your liking, (but err on the side of caution – we don’t want those blood sugar levels going through the roof!)

NB I used ruby oranges which are lovely and sweet, juicy and have a very distinct flavour – it made a lovely icing.

Then you just need to assemble your cake. The quantity of icing allows for a generous middle layer of icing (don’t you just hate cakes where the filling icing is too skimpy!?) and a good spreading over the top.

I used my grain free granola to decorate the top, but you could use coconut, berries, fresh grated cinnamon….you get the picture!

Harry Potter Meatballs
Wow, it’s been a whirlwind month. If I thought I was busy before with working, blogging, cooking from scratch and doing my own personal research, as well as being a mum; it’s just reached a whole new level. I have started a nutritional therapy course which requires me to find an additional 15 – 20 hours of study time a week! Let me tell you, there is not an awful lot in my life at the moment other than study! Gone are the occasional coffee mornings with the mums; errands are being left, shopping is not being done, the house is becoming less & less tidy, my experimental cooking has had to take a back seat for now…… my poor friends & family are being neglected and my social life has disappeared!  9 more months of this then!! Just as well I absolutely love what I’m learning – it all compounds my theories on cooking with whole foods, fresh ingredients from good sources, using lots of veg, healthy fats, pasture reared meats….. It really does matter what we put into our mouths in order to nourish our bodies at a cellular level. Those cells ain’t stupid you know – they see that refined flour and trans fats coming a mile off. And they’re not having any of it! Well….unfotunately for us and them, they are – and that’s why so many of us are sick! We’re just not getting the full complement of macro & micro nutrients required for optimum health and even if we are - most of us live our lives in such a stressed out state that we’re not digesting and absorbing properly….time to slow down, says she!
So as you can imagine, I never sit down and watch TV – I never really did, but it’s been a thing I want to do with the kids, sit down and watch a film together. It feels like a luxury that I can do when the work’s finished. And guess what…..the work is never finished!! But somehow this week, we just did it – put on Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets (which we had just finished reading) and all sat down together. Although, inevitably, this overlapped with a meal time and so I needed to make something quick so as not to miss too much of the story (hence they are Harry Potter meatballs). They actually were incredibly delicious and at least the size of a ‘snitch’ (you know what size that is don’t you!!)
INGREDIENTS serves 4- 6
1 kg organic minced beef
2 organic onions
1 stick organic celery
1 small organic sweet potato
1 tbsp chives, chopped
 1tbsp oregano (dried)
1 tbsp parsley / thyme
1 ½ tsp himalayan salt
Pepper to taste
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp Maca powder
1 free-range, organic egg
70g tomato puree

METHOD
Chop the vegetables in a food processor so they are really fine.
Mix these in a bowl with the mince, seasoning, powders and garlic.
Combine with a fork initially or just get straight in there with your hands – it feels good!
Add the egg and tomato puree. You’re gonna have to get messy now, there’s just no choice if you really want to combine it well.
Form into tennis ball sized spheres – pressing and cupping the mixture so it forms a good dense ball.  I got 9.
Place on a lined baking sheet or in a roasting tin and bake at 180* for 40 – 45mins. I covered mine for 30 mins and took the foil off for the last 15.

1 meat ball each should suffice, unless you have a Hagrid-like appetite!!

Harry Potter Meatballs

Wow, it’s been a whirlwind month. If I thought I was busy before with working, blogging, cooking from scratch and doing my own personal research, as well as being a mum; it’s just reached a whole new level. I have started a nutritional therapy course which requires me to find an additional 15 – 20 hours of study time a week! Let me tell you, there is not an awful lot in my life at the moment other than study! Gone are the occasional coffee mornings with the mums; errands are being left, shopping is not being done, the house is becoming less & less tidy, my experimental cooking has had to take a back seat for now…… my poor friends & family are being neglected and my social life has disappeared!  9 more months of this then!! Just as well I absolutely love what I’m learning – it all compounds my theories on cooking with whole foods, fresh ingredients from good sources, using lots of veg, healthy fats, pasture reared meats….. It really does matter what we put into our mouths in order to nourish our bodies at a cellular level. Those cells ain’t stupid you know – they see that refined flour and trans fats coming a mile off. And they’re not having any of it! Well….unfotunately for us and them, they are – and that’s why so many of us are sick! We’re just not getting the full complement of macro & micro nutrients required for optimum health and even if we are - most of us live our lives in such a stressed out state that we’re not digesting and absorbing properly….time to slow down, says she!

So as you can imagine, I never sit down and watch TV – I never really did, but it’s been a thing I want to do with the kids, sit down and watch a film together. It feels like a luxury that I can do when the work’s finished. And guess what…..the work is never finished!! But somehow this week, we just did it – put on Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets (which we had just finished reading) and all sat down together. Although, inevitably, this overlapped with a meal time and so I needed to make something quick so as not to miss too much of the story (hence they are Harry Potter meatballs). They actually were incredibly delicious and at least the size of a ‘snitch’ (you know what size that is don’t you!!)

INGREDIENTS serves 4- 6

1 kg organic minced beef

2 organic onions

1 stick organic celery

1 small organic sweet potato

1 tbsp chives, chopped

 1tbsp oregano (dried)

1 tbsp parsley / thyme

1 ½ tsp himalayan salt

Pepper to taste

3 cloves garlic

1 tbsp Maca powder

1 free-range, organic egg

70g tomato puree

METHOD

Chop the vegetables in a food processor so they are really fine.

Mix these in a bowl with the mince, seasoning, powders and garlic.

Combine with a fork initially or just get straight in there with your hands – it feels good!

Add the egg and tomato puree. You’re gonna have to get messy now, there’s just no choice if you really want to combine it well.

Form into tennis ball sized spheres – pressing and cupping the mixture so it forms a good dense ball.  I got 9.

Place on a lined baking sheet or in a roasting tin and bake at 180* for 40 – 45mins. I covered mine for 30 mins and took the foil off for the last 15.

1 meat ball each should suffice, unless you have a Hagrid-like appetite!!

Brandy pomegranate truffles



 
Calling all love birds…….yes it’s that time of year - I know you guys are currently looking at life through a soft focus lens –  fluffy bunnies, hearts, holding hands, laughter and champagne on a sheepskin rug in front of a roaring fire, Lionel Richie playing in the background! (No, that’s just one step too far!). But seriously, it’s only a week now until that special Hallmark day! It’s good to plan ahead so you look like you’ve put some effort into it!!
I know you’ve probably fallen off your chair to see that I’ve actually posted a recipe in advance of a celebration day! That’s not my usual style, you think to yourself! Don’t be so quick to judge! It is in my head….. the posts are often all mentally completed, but life just gets in the way and the moment comes and goes!! I so need a PA!
 Truth be told, I actually made these amazing truffles for Christmas and predictably, never got around to posting them! Luckily, they are just as relevant if not more, 6 weeks on, to mark the day that we are actually allowed a teeny, tiny, chocolate treat!!
So why not make a gift you can both enjoy – if you receive a present from your special person, great! Now you have gift and chocolate! And if you don’t get a little token of appreciation from the miserable bugger, you can both share these little balls of love, (knowing secretly, that you’ve had one extra anyway, as you obviously had to try one in case they were poisonous!!!)
These truffles are very rich and decadent, so you might want to put half in the freezer straight away to save for your next dinner party or special occasion!

Ingredients 
1 bar 85% Green & Blacks dark chocolate
1 227g tub of clotted cream
2 tbsps coconut oil
1/4tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cinnamon
4 large soft dates
1 tbsp brandy
1 tbsp water
2 tbsp dried pomegranate seeds – hunt these down, it’s well worth the search
Zest of 1 clementine
2 more tbsps brandy (for the boozier among you!)
1 tbsp organic (Green & Blacks) cocoa powder

Method
Break chocolate into small pieces and melt with coconut oil in a glass bowl over a saucepan of boiling water. Add cream and spices and allow to heat slowly to just below simmering point.
Heat the dates in the microwave with the water and brandy for 30 secs. Mash together to break down any large pieces.
Combine the chocolate and dates and add the zest and pomegranate seeds and more brandy if required.
Put bowl in the fridge for around half an hour or more until the truffle mixture has begun to harden.
Roll the truffles into balls – be careful not to over-handle as they melt very quickly. To soak up that lovely melty exterior, roll them in some velvety organic cocoa powder.

Mmm – love, in a truffle!!

Brandy pomegranate truffles

 

Calling all love birds…….yes it’s that time of year - I know you guys are currently looking at life through a soft focus lens –  fluffy bunnies, hearts, holding hands, laughter and champagne on a sheepskin rug in front of a roaring fire, Lionel Richie playing in the background! (No, that’s just one step too far!). But seriously, it’s only a week now until that special Hallmark day! It’s good to plan ahead so you look like you’ve put some effort into it!!

I know you’ve probably fallen off your chair to see that I’ve actually posted a recipe in advance of a celebration day! That’s not my usual style, you think to yourself! Don’t be so quick to judge! It is in my head….. the posts are often all mentally completed, but life just gets in the way and the moment comes and goes!! I so need a PA!

 Truth be told, I actually made these amazing truffles for Christmas and predictably, never got around to posting them! Luckily, they are just as relevant if not more, 6 weeks on, to mark the day that we are actually allowed a teeny, tiny, chocolate treat!!

So why not make a gift you can both enjoy – if you receive a present from your special person, great! Now you have gift and chocolate! And if you don’t get a little token of appreciation from the miserable bugger, you can both share these little balls of love, (knowing secretly, that you’ve had one extra anyway, as you obviously had to try one in case they were poisonous!!!)

These truffles are very rich and decadent, so you might want to put half in the freezer straight away to save for your next dinner party or special occasion!

Ingredients

1 bar 85% Green & Blacks dark chocolate

1 227g tub of clotted cream

2 tbsps coconut oil

1/4tsp ginger

1/4 tsp cinnamon

4 large soft dates

1 tbsp brandy

1 tbsp water

2 tbsp dried pomegranate seeds – hunt these down, it’s well worth the search

Zest of 1 clementine

2 more tbsps brandy (for the boozier among you!)

1 tbsp organic (Green & Blacks) cocoa powder

Method

Break chocolate into small pieces and melt with coconut oil in a glass bowl over a saucepan of boiling water. Add cream and spices and allow to heat slowly to just below simmering point.

Heat the dates in the microwave with the water and brandy for 30 secs. Mash together to break down any large pieces.

Combine the chocolate and dates and add the zest and pomegranate seeds and more brandy if required.

Put bowl in the fridge for around half an hour or more until the truffle mixture has begun to harden.

Roll the truffles into balls – be careful not to over-handle as they melt very quickly. To soak up that lovely melty exterior, roll them in some velvety organic cocoa powder.

Mmm – love, in a truffle!!

Butternut Squash and Rhubarb Egg custards

So this term, I have finally taken the plunge and changed my kids to a gluten-free diet at school. Since September they have been at a school where there is no packed lunch option. And it bugged me….. for a whole term!
No longer was I able to control what they ate for 5 whole meals a week!!!
Every day, the first thing I would ask them was what they had for lunch (am I obsessed!!??) and would wince when they said things like ‘spaghetti bolognaise, garlic bread and sponge pudding’ or ‘cheesy pasta bake and apple crumble’ or ‘pizza and a chocolate chip cookie’!!  All of my principles, my preaching, my knowledge, our lifestyle….. and my children were being stuffed full of processed, highly refined, blood sugar-spiking wheat flour and gut-destroying gluten!!!
 It’s funny isn’t it – if we decided not to eat meat - there would be a special menu to cater for us, if we abstained from certain foods for religious reasons - there would be no question about avoiding them and if my kids had full blown allergies - it would be easy! But merely the fact that I would like to assist my children live a long and healthful life, avoiding where possible, metabolic diseases and conditions, chronic inflammation, insulin resistance and a pre-disposition to cancer – well…. that alone is not quite a good enough reason to cut out the crap!!! However our lovely receptionist and wonderful chef have been extremely helpful and acommodating.

So gluten-free is the best we can do and means that sugary deserts are skipped along with all the overly carb-laden main courses. Result! The school chef now personally cooks their meat and vegetables every day and for dessert they stick to fruit (or occasionally yogurt). But twice a week they are able to bring in a pudding from home, which means I regain a little bit of control!! (Yay) Like adding more protein with some egg based dessert, like this one….!

The  filling for these egg custards was actually a complete fluke. I needed to put something in the freezer and when I opened the drawer and pulled out the top 2 bags to make room, it just so happened to be rhubarb & Butternut squash! I had already decided to make egg custard tarts, but wanted a filling. I got to thinking how the 2 would combine…… it is a surprisingly pleasant combination and most importantly, child approved!!
(This is not to say that you couldn’t or shouldn’t do this from fresh, but using frozen did make it extremely simple and low on preparation!!)

INGREDIENTS
250g frozen rhubarb
250g frozen butternut squash
1 tbsp butter / coconut oil
1 tbsp coconut palm sugar

3 large eggs + 2 yolks
227ml organic / raw cream
227ml organic / raw whole milk
2 tbsps coconut palm sugar 
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp nutmeg
Butter/ oil for greasing
Whole nutmeg, grated

METHOD 
Melt butter or oil in a saucepan and add the rhubarb, squash and sugar. Let it cook for around 20 minutes until the fruits are soft and the liquid absorbed.
Puree using a stick blender.
Heat milk, cream and sugar in a separate pan, slowly and until just below simmering.
Whisk eggs & yolks in a large jug.
Slowly add warmed milk to eggs, whisking all the while. Add vanilla and nutmeg.
Grease a 12 hole muffin tin and pour custard mixture into each hole until ¾ full. Add a large table spoon of fruit mixture to the centre of each.
Grate a little fresh nutmeg onto the top of each custard and bake for 25 mins until just set.

Allow to cool in the tray and use a spatula to scoop them out carefully. Perfectly lunch-box portable and suitable for nut-free school meals!

Butternut Squash and Rhubarb Egg custards

So this term, I have finally taken the plunge and changed my kids to a gluten-free diet at school. Since September they have been at a school where there is no packed lunch option. And it bugged me….. for a whole term!

No longer was I able to control what they ate for 5 whole meals a week!!!

Every day, the first thing I would ask them was what they had for lunch (am I obsessed!!??) and would wince when they said things like ‘spaghetti bolognaise, garlic bread and sponge pudding’ or ‘cheesy pasta bake and apple crumble’ or ‘pizza and a chocolate chip cookie’!!  All of my principles, my preaching, my knowledge, our lifestyle….. and my children were being stuffed full of processed, highly refined, blood sugar-spiking wheat flour and gut-destroying gluten!!!

 It’s funny isn’t it – if we decided not to eat meat - there would be a special menu to cater for us, if we abstained from certain foods for religious reasons - there would be no question about avoiding them and if my kids had full blown allergies - it would be easy! But merely the fact that I would like to assist my children live a long and healthful life, avoiding where possible, metabolic diseases and conditions, chronic inflammation, insulin resistance and a pre-disposition to cancer – well…. that alone is not quite a good enough reason to cut out the crap!!! However our lovely receptionist and wonderful chef have been extremely helpful and acommodating.

So gluten-free is the best we can do and means that sugary deserts are skipped along with all the overly carb-laden main courses. Result! The school chef now personally cooks their meat and vegetables every day and for dessert they stick to fruit (or occasionally yogurt). But twice a week they are able to bring in a pudding from home, which means I regain a little bit of control!! (Yay) Like adding more protein with some egg based dessert, like this one….!

The  filling for these egg custards was actually a complete fluke. I needed to put something in the freezer and when I opened the drawer and pulled out the top 2 bags to make room, it just so happened to be rhubarb & Butternut squash! I had already decided to make egg custard tarts, but wanted a filling. I got to thinking how the 2 would combine…… it is a surprisingly pleasant combination and most importantly, child approved!!

(This is not to say that you couldn’t or shouldn’t do this from fresh, but using frozen did make it extremely simple and low on preparation!!)

INGREDIENTS

250g frozen rhubarb

250g frozen butternut squash

1 tbsp butter / coconut oil

1 tbsp coconut palm sugar

3 large eggs + 2 yolks

227ml organic / raw cream

227ml organic / raw whole milk

2 tbsps coconut palm sugar 

1 tsp vanilla extract

¼ tsp nutmeg

Butter/ oil for greasing

Whole nutmeg, grated

METHOD 

Melt butter or oil in a saucepan and add the rhubarb, squash and sugar. Let it cook for around 20 minutes until the fruits are soft and the liquid absorbed.

Puree using a stick blender.

Heat milk, cream and sugar in a separate pan, slowly and until just below simmering.

Whisk eggs & yolks in a large jug.

Slowly add warmed milk to eggs, whisking all the while. Add vanilla and nutmeg.

Grease a 12 hole muffin tin and pour custard mixture into each hole until ¾ full. Add a large table spoon of fruit mixture to the centre of each.

Grate a little fresh nutmeg onto the top of each custard and bake for 25 mins until just set.

Allow to cool in the tray and use a spatula to scoop them out carefully. Perfectly lunch-box portable and suitable for nut-free school meals!

Paleo chocolate cupcakes with Primal eggnog icing



 
So we only took down our Christmas decorations today… sharp intake of breath from all the English people out there and ‘so what’ from the Yanks! It’s a stupid tradition that says if you don’t clear your house of every shred of evidence that Christmas took place not even 2 weeks previously, then you’ll have bad luck all year. WTF!? Well, I took them down on January 6th last year and we had cancer and a death in the family. How much worse can it get!! Besides, I just love the house all dressed up & looking festive. Over the years I have gathered an array of garlands, baubles and decorations that make our house look beautiful and make me happy. Put that in your pipe and smoke it!!

So in the spirit of all things Christmassy, here’s a festive cupcake recipe that I had promised to post ages ago, sorry guys! I made these little beauties for my Christmas party and everyone who tried one, asked for the recipe! I can’t take credit for the cake, (although I did add a little extra cocoa powder) – which comes courtesy of the splendidly named, cleaneatingwithadirtymind.com. The eggnog icing is mine!
Makes: enough for you to gorge yourself, with a few extra for some special friends!
Ingredients
1 cup almond flour
1 tbsp coconut palm sugar
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp Himalayan salt
Dash of cinnamon
1 tbsp cocoa powder
½ cup canned coconut milk
¼ cup coconut oil
100g Green & Black 85% dark chocolate
½ tsp vanilla essence
2 organic eggs

For the frosting – (this is double what you will actually need for the cakes, but believe me, you’ll be glad you have extra!)
250g mascarpone cheese
1 can coconut cream 160ml (or cream from 1 can of coconut that’s been refrigerated overnight)
1 tbsp Maker’s Mark Bourbon
½ tsp nutmeg
2 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp cloves
5-6 tbsps coconut palm sugar

Method
To make the cakes:
Line a cupcake tin with papers and pre-heat the oven to 180*C
In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients, stir with a fork to break up any lumps.
In a china bowl, combine chocolate, broken into small pieces & coconut milk and heat over a pan of boiling water until chocolate is melted.
Stir the coconut oil into the chocolate mixture and allow to melt.
Let the mixture to cool a little before adding vanilla and beaten eggs to the mixture.
Fold in the dry ingredients and stir until well combined.
Pour batter into the cupcake liners up to about 2/3 full.
Bake 20 mins until a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow cakes to cool completely before icing them.

To make the frosting
Beat together the coconut cream and mascarpone with an electric whisk.
Add all other ingredients and beat mixture as long as you can be bothered, until light and fluffy.
Dollop lovingly onto the cakes, grate a little extra chocolate on top and return to the fridge so the icing can firm up.
I might just have to whip up another batch right now…..!

 

 

 

Paleo chocolate cupcakes with Primal eggnog icing

 

So we only took down our Christmas decorations today… sharp intake of breath from all the English people out there and ‘so what’ from the Yanks! It’s a stupid tradition that says if you don’t clear your house of every shred of evidence that Christmas took place not even 2 weeks previously, then you’ll have bad luck all year. WTF!? Well, I took them down on January 6th last year and we had cancer and a death in the family. How much worse can it get!! Besides, I just love the house all dressed up & looking festive. Over the years I have gathered an array of garlands, baubles and decorations that make our house look beautiful and make me happy. Put that in your pipe and smoke it!!

So in the spirit of all things Christmassy, here’s a festive cupcake recipe that I had promised to post ages ago, sorry guys! I made these little beauties for my Christmas party and everyone who tried one, asked for the recipe! I can’t take credit for the cake, (although I did add a little extra cocoa powder) – which comes courtesy of the splendidly named, cleaneatingwithadirtymind.com. The eggnog icing is mine!

Makes: enough for you to gorge yourself, with a few extra for some special friends!

Ingredients

1 cup almond flour

1 tbsp coconut palm sugar

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp Himalayan salt

Dash of cinnamon

1 tbsp cocoa powder

½ cup canned coconut milk

¼ cup coconut oil

100g Green & Black 85% dark chocolate

½ tsp vanilla essence

2 organic eggs

For the frosting – (this is double what you will actually need for the cakes, but believe me, you’ll be glad you have extra!)

250g mascarpone cheese

1 can coconut cream 160ml (or cream from 1 can of coconut that’s been refrigerated overnight)

1 tbsp Maker’s Mark Bourbon

½ tsp nutmeg

2 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp cloves

5-6 tbsps coconut palm sugar

Method

To make the cakes:

Line a cupcake tin with papers and pre-heat the oven to 180*C

In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients, stir with a fork to break up any lumps.

In a china bowl, combine chocolate, broken into small pieces & coconut milk and heat over a pan of boiling water until chocolate is melted.

Stir the coconut oil into the chocolate mixture and allow to melt.

Let the mixture to cool a little before adding vanilla and beaten eggs to the mixture.

Fold in the dry ingredients and stir until well combined.

Pour batter into the cupcake liners up to about 2/3 full.

Bake 20 mins until a toothpick comes out clean.

Allow cakes to cool completely before icing them.

To make the frosting

Beat together the coconut cream and mascarpone with an electric whisk.

Add all other ingredients and beat mixture as long as you can be bothered, until light and fluffy.

Dollop lovingly onto the cakes, grate a little extra chocolate on top and return to the fridge so the icing can firm up.

I might just have to whip up another batch right now…..!

 

 

 

South West Chilli Beef with Jalepeño Cream Cheese Stuffed Peppers

So here we are, a week into 2014, with resolutions in full swing, new leaves having been turned over, home improvements being planned and some of us even a year older!!

It was the first day back to school for us yesterday and I celebrated with an (unintentional) hour and a half run! Like a typical blond, I assumed that as the tow path in Richmond was clear, it would be fine to run along the river anywhere. What I hadn’t anticipated was that the river at Hampton Court had not only submerged the benches on the lower path, but about half a mile on, the upper path disappeared underwater as well. If I wanted to keep my feet dry I had no choice but to turn back and retrace my steps. Which I did, until I found an intriguing looking gate in the wall bordering the river. Being the inquisitive type, I decided to have a look and discovered that it led into wild parkland that I didn’t even know existed!! I was suddenly in unfamiliar territory, about to undertake an unexpected adventure in unexplored terrain! And I have to admit, I felt a tiny bit excited!!. I then proceeded to run across a golf course on a huge detour and got completely lost…..well not exactly, but I had no idea where I was or where I would come out!! I ended up having to get the bus some of the way home as I was utterly exhausted…..it happens to the best explorers you know!!

So with yet more rain beating down outside, I specifically wanted to post a warming, flavourful, two fingers up to the weather, sort of recipe! I believe this fits the bill and cleverly incorporated some spice for the grown ups and none for the kids….check out my clever trick!!

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 tbsp bacon fat or tallow

1 onion

½ - 1 tsp Aleppo chilli flakes

½ tsp cinnamon

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp dried oregano

500g pasture fed beef mince

2 large cloves garlic - minced

2 tsps cumin

1 tbsp cocoa powder

1 tsp salt

2 tbsps pomegranate vinegar

1 can organic chopped tomatoes

300g passata

1 tsp sweet chilli sauce (home made or paleo friendly)

1 tbsp sun dried tomato puree

70g organic tomato puree

2 tsp liquid smoke (optional)

For the peppers

150g organic cream cheese

1 tbsp jalapeño chilli’s chopped (mine were from a jar) – use more or less depending on how explosive you want your peppers!

200g chiquiño peppers (mini red, orange & yellow peppers to me and you!)

Method

Melt the bacon fat in a large frying pan, add the onions and sauté until translucent. Then add the herbs and spices. Cook on a low heat until the flavours have had a chance to develop.

Add the minced beef to the onion mixture followed by the garlic. Allow beef to brown for 5 mins or so.

Then add the salt, cocoa and cumin powder, combine well.

After a few more minutes begin to add the rest of the ingredients and let simmer on a low heat while you prepare the peppers.

Wash and slice tops off the chiquiño peppers, scoop out the seeds and set aside.

Empty the cream cheese into a bowl and mix with the chopped jalapeño’s.

Using a very small teaspoon, stuff the peppers with the chilli cheese.

Then empty your rich, thick chilli beef into a medium sized casserole dish and stud it with the chilli cheese stuffed peppers. They should remain vertical, but almost submerged in the chilli.

Bake in the oven for 30 mins and serve. The chilli peppers give a great kick to the beef and the children just skipped the spicy peppers. Everyone’s happy!!

NB The peppers were firm, if you have the time and inclination, you could, after washing and de-seeding, rub them with olive oil and pre-roast them for 15 mins, before allowing to cool & stuffing.

Serve with Courgette ‘rice’ (grated courgette stir fried in butter)….yum!

Christmas Meat Loaf with Cranberry Glaze

I was so in the Christmas spirit today – I really haven’t done much xmas shopping so far, between working, party preparations, finalizing my accounts and Christmas nativities and carol concerts – I’ve just realized it’s Christmas next week and I’ve missed the fun of Christmas shopping!  I know…. I say ‘fun’’ – it can be a complete and utter mare, but today I hummed along to Christmas carols as I sipped a well-earned latte whilst perusing the chicken sausages  at Whole Foods! It really doesn’t get better than that!!  I think part of the fun was that I felt like I was on borrowed time. My kids are now on holiday, but I had them booked into an art club today – so with a mixture of guilt and relief,  I managed to cram in a networking breakfast, a workout and a last minute shop all before 4 O clock! Love it!

So perhaps my seasonal  high was responsible for my recipe tonight. This was one of those ones that just comes to me and I can see the ingredients and quantities really clearly in my mind. And no I haven’t been on the mulled wine……yet!!  This meatloaf was so well received by the younger diners in the house, that we all had seconds…and then all felt ridiculously stuffed! (so be warned)! I thought I should share it with you, fresh from the oven, so to speak!

 

Ingredients

Cranberry Glaze

1 tsp butter (or ghee)

1 apple, cored and chopped

300g bag fresh cranberries

1 cinnamon stick

½ cup mulled wine

1 thumb sized piece of ginger, grated

Zest and juice of a clementine

½ cup water

2 tbsp coconut sugar

 

Method

Melt butter in a saucepan and sauté apples until beginning to turn golden brown. Add cranberries and toss to coat in butter. Add zest of clementine and grated ginger. Allow flavours to develop for a few minutes before adding the mulled wine, clementine juice, water, cinnamon stick and coconut sugar.

Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and allow to simmer gently whilst you prepare the meatloaf (with lid for 15 mins, then remove for the rest of the cooking time). Stir occasionally.

Xmas Meat loaf

Ingredients

1 sweet potato, cooked

½ cup chestnut puree

½ cup apple puree

1 large carrot

1 large parsnip

500g organic minced beef

500g organic minced pork

4 cloves garlic

1 red onion

2 eggs

½ cup almond flour

1tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp dried thyme & parsley (or 1 tbsp each of fresh)

2 tsp salt

Black pepper to taste

 

Method

In a large bowl, mash sweet potato flesh with apple and chestnut puree.

Using a food processor, chop carrot, parsnip, onion and garlic finely and add to bowl.

Add meats and seasoning, almond flour and eggs. Mix well until all ingredients are well combined.

Form meat & vegetable mixture into a large loaf shape and place in a roasting tin.

Roast in the oven at 180*C for 40 mins. Remove from oven and spread cranberry glaze over the top of the meatloaf. (You won’t need all of it) Return to the oven for a further 30 minutes.

Allow to rest for 5 minutes, slice and serve with remaining cranberry glaze on the side. Handle with care as this meat loaf is delicate!

Serves 6

Caremelised Onion Dip
Aaaahhhhh……..you hear that?  

That’s the massive sigh of relief now that my Christmas party is over!   

Every year I put myself through at least 3 weeks of hell….. planning, prepping, cooking, hosting & majorly stressing over creating a culinary  nibbles masterpiece for my clients!! Paleo / primal party food, with everything made entirely from scratch, is no small undertaking as many of you will know! 
So as usual, my grand ambitions could not all be realised, the bacon wrapped pineapple, pear & Stilton pancetta cupcakes & the pork & chestnut balls, remained a tastebud tingling figment of my imagination! But I did make an awful lot, both my own & other people’s recipes. There were no major disasters and everyone got at least a little tipsy…so I’d class that as a success. 
The only sad part is that I never have enough time to photograph these tantalising tasty treats, so many dishes will have to be re-made if they are to appear on my blog. But here’s one I did snap, it’s my own creation….based on a classic Howes tradition!
 
A party just wouldn’t be a party without my mum’s amazing French Onion dip, which has been a firm family favourite for its ease of preparation & more-ish-ness, for as long as I can remember. To me, it is synonymous with Christmas. However, the secret ingredient was always a rather chemical laden packet onion soup mix - full of maltodextrin, potato starch, vegetable fat, sugar, caramel, flavourings and if you were lucky,  a healthy dose of MSG! So consequently this sexy little number has now been off my Christmas menu for a few years.
 
But then I got to thinking…. surely, whatever you could make from a packet, you could  make from the real ingredients, (duh!) and it would taste 100 times better!
 
And although the effort level is a little higher than the opening of a packet, it’s still pretty easy, even if you do have to whip up some onion marmalade from scratch (see earlier blog post). (I made mine without figs this time, as they are no longer in season, although you could try it with some soaked, dried figs?)
 
Caramelised onion dip
2 large dessert spoons of home-made caramelised onion marmalade 
1 cup soured cream
1 cup Greek yogurt
Pinch of salt to taste
 

Yes people, that is it! Simply blend with a stick blender & marvel at the splendour of your creation!! Serve with sliced peppers, cucumber & carrot batons or some special Paleo crackers - I used the ”magic wonder dough” recipe from primalgirl.com

Caremelised Onion Dip

Aaaahhhhh……..you hear that?  

That’s the massive sigh of relief now that my Christmas party is over!  

Every year I put myself through at least 3 weeks of hell….. planning, prepping, cooking, hosting & majorly stressing over creating a culinary  nibbles masterpiece for my clients!! Paleo / primal party food, with everything made entirely from scratch, is no small undertaking as many of you will know!

So as usual, my grand ambitions could not all be realised, the bacon wrapped pineapple, pear & Stilton pancetta cupcakes & the pork & chestnut balls, remained a tastebud tingling figment of my imagination! But I did make an awful lot, both my own & other people’s recipes. There were no major disasters and everyone got at least a little tipsy…so I’d class that as a success.

The only sad part is that I never have enough time to photograph these tantalising tasty treats, so many dishes will have to be re-made if they are to appear on my blog. But here’s one I did snap, it’s my own creation….based on a classic Howes tradition!

 

A party just wouldn’t be a party without my mum’s amazing French Onion dip, which has been a firm family favourite for its ease of preparation & more-ish-ness, for as long as I can remember. To me, it is synonymous with Christmas. However, the secret ingredient was always a rather chemical laden packet onion soup mix - full of maltodextrin, potato starch, vegetable fat, sugar, caramel, flavourings and if you were lucky,  a healthy dose of MSG! So consequently this sexy little number has now been off my Christmas menu for a few years.

 

But then I got to thinking…. surely, whatever you could make from a packet, you could  make from the real ingredients, (duh!) and it would taste 100 times better!

 

And although the effort level is a little higher than the opening of a packet, it’s still pretty easy, even if you do have to whip up some onion marmalade from scratch (see earlier blog post). (I made mine without figs this time, as they are no longer in season, although you could try it with some soaked, dried figs?)

 

Caramelised onion dip

 

Yes people, that is it! Simply blend with a stick blender & marvel at the splendour of your creation!! Serve with sliced peppers, cucumber & carrot batons or some special Paleo crackers - I used the ”magic wonder dough” recipe from primalgirl.com

Sweet & Salty Primal ‘Cous Cous’

Wow, where are the weeks going? It’s nearly Thanksgiving. It only feels like last week that we were in Florida going trick or treating - now we’re writing Christmas lists and putting up stockings! I can’t wait to crack out the carol CD’s - I must confess, we have already had a little indulgence: Olivia insisted on cranking the Christmas tunes last weekend and we were all singing away to ‘Deck the Halls’ and lovin’ it!!  It’s all about the build up you know – present buying, school nativities, Xmas fairs, mulled wine (sugar free of course!), parties, sparkle & glitter. Don’t tell anyone, but I always find the main event slightly disappointing! For the chef, Christmas Day is just a lot of hard work for one mega meal! No matter how much preparation I do in advance, inevitably the entire day is spent in the kitchen -  hot, stressed (about timings), slightly inebriated (to relax about timings) and smelling of turkey grease (I’m guessing – it might be sweat, but it sure ain’t roses)!! Still, I actually wouldn’t have it any other way – every time we have decided to do Christmas at a restaurant, we have all been disappointed and vowed not to do it again. A family with high expectations you may say, or as I like to think, exceptional standards and quality cooking! .  This year we will be executing our Xmas lunch in an Aga!  I can’t wait to see if it can top last year’s brined turkey (see December 2012 blog post for recipe & instructions). We are spending the festive season at the farm house we stayed at this summer. It will be a proper country Christmas. I just hope they put up a tree for us….
Still, on to today’s recipe - nothing to do with Christmas, but everything to do with nostalgia. In my previous life, B.P. (before Primal)! I had a great signature dish which comprised cous cous cooked with prosciutto, spring onions, spinach, pine nuts, halloumi, mint & dried apricots. It was a great go to dish if time was tight and the ingredients could be played around with, depending on what was in the fridge, but always contained salty, sweet and a nod to Middle Eastern dishes. Sadly, this meal has had to remain at the back of my recipe file for many a year now. But yesterday, I reincarnated it without cous cous and the halloumi, meat, pine nut combo was back on the menu, even better than before!!
Ingredients (serves 3)
1 head cauliflower
1 courgette
1 tbsp butter
1/3 cup pine nuts
4 slices nitrite free back bacon (or prosciutto)
Bunch of salad onions
1/4 cup mint - shredded
Any other shredded leafy stuff you may have - I used a leek today, but spinach, chard or Kale would work
1 packet of Halloumi, cubed
Pomegranate seeds for decoration

Method
Start by washing & preparing the courgette & cauliflower. Grate or whizz in the food processor until ‘riced’ ( don’t allow it to become a mush though!)
Melt butter in a large frying pan & sautée veg until cooked & slightly browned. Remove from pan & Set aside. 
Snip bacon into lardons and add to pan. Cook until crispy. Set aside.
Using bacon fat, sautee the onions, pine nuts and other veg.
Then combine all cooked ingredients in a lidded casserole dish. Add salt if required, but remember, you have halloumi & bacon in the dish.
Cube halloumi, shred mint and stir into your vegetable mixture.
Put the lid on the casserole and bake in the oven at 180*C for 20 – 30 mins
Dish up and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds to add a sweet contrast in flavours.

Sweet & Salty Primal ‘Cous Cous’

Wow, where are the weeks going? It’s nearly Thanksgiving. It only feels like last week that we were in Florida going trick or treating - now we’re writing Christmas lists and putting up stockings! I can’t wait to crack out the carol CD’s - I must confess, we have already had a little indulgence: Olivia insisted on cranking the Christmas tunes last weekend and we were all singing away to ‘Deck the Halls’ and lovin’ it!! It’s all about the build up you know – present buying, school nativities, Xmas fairs, mulled wine (sugar free of course!), parties, sparkle & glitter. Don’t tell anyone, but I always find the main event slightly disappointing! For the chef, Christmas Day is just a lot of hard work for one mega meal! No matter how much preparation I do in advance, inevitably the entire day is spent in the kitchen - hot, stressed (about timings), slightly inebriated (to relax about timings) and smelling of turkey grease (I’m guessing – it might be sweat, but it sure ain’t roses)!! Still, I actually wouldn’t have it any other way – every time we have decided to do Christmas at a restaurant, we have all been disappointed and vowed not to do it again. A family with high expectations you may say, or as I like to think, exceptional standards and quality cooking! . This year we will be executing our Xmas lunch in an Aga! I can’t wait to see if it can top last year’s brined turkey (see December 2012 blog post for recipe & instructions). We are spending the festive season at the farm house we stayed at this summer. It will be a proper country Christmas. I just hope they put up a tree for us….

Still, on to today’s recipe - nothing to do with Christmas, but everything to do with nostalgia. In my previous life, B.P. (before Primal)! I had a great signature dish which comprised cous cous cooked with prosciutto, spring onions, spinach, pine nuts, halloumi, mint & dried apricots. It was a great go to dish if time was tight and the ingredients could be played around with, depending on what was in the fridge, but always contained salty, sweet and a nod to Middle Eastern dishes. Sadly, this meal has had to remain at the back of my recipe file for many a year now. But yesterday, I reincarnated it without cous cous and the halloumi, meat, pine nut combo was back on the menu, even better than before!!

Ingredients (serves 3)
1 head cauliflower
1 courgette
1 tbsp butter
1/3 cup pine nuts
4 slices nitrite free back bacon (or prosciutto)
Bunch of salad onions
1/4 cup mint - shredded
Any other shredded leafy stuff you may have - I used a leek today, but spinach, chard or Kale would work
1 packet of Halloumi, cubed
Pomegranate seeds for decoration

Method

Start by washing & preparing the courgette & cauliflower. Grate or whizz in the food processor until ‘riced’ ( don’t allow it to become a mush though!)
Melt butter in a large frying pan & sautée veg until cooked & slightly browned. Remove from pan & Set aside.
Snip bacon into lardons and add to pan. Cook until crispy. Set aside.
Using bacon fat, sautee the onions, pine nuts and other veg.
Then combine all cooked ingredients in a lidded casserole dish. Add salt if required, but remember, you have halloumi & bacon in the dish.
Cube halloumi, shred mint and stir into your vegetable mixture.
Put the lid on the casserole and bake in the oven at 180*C for 20 – 30 mins
Dish up and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds to add a sweet contrast in flavours.